Tornadoes Across Midwest and South Kill Over 30; BP And Plaintiffs Reach Agreement; Man Gets 27 Years in Homegrown Terrorism Case

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At least 31 are dead across Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio and Alabama after tornado storms ravaged the Midwest and South, essentially destroying towns. Today, the rescue effort continued, as parts of the South remained on tornado watch. "It's just nuts right here," National Weather Service meteorologist John Gordon told CNN during the storms. Indiana State Police Sgt. Jerry Goodwin told a CNN affiliate that they have "complete destruction." [CNN]

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Lucy Lawless, Xena Warrior Princess, Captures Oil-Drilling Ship

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Lucy Lawless -- of Xena, Warrior Princess and Spartacus -- has taken over an Artic-bound, oil-drilling ship along with several other Greenpeace activists today.

Lawless and the Greenpeace members boarded the Shell-contracted ship this morning, in hopes that their protest would keep it from leaving Auckland, New Zealand for the Alaskan coast. That vessel, the Noble Discoverer, is scheduled to drill three exploratory oil wells this summer in the Chukchi Sea off the coast of Alaska.

Runnin' Scared reached out to Lawless, who took a few minutes to chat about the demo.


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Department of Environmental Protection Clarifies Fracking E-Mail (UPDATE)

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Mayor Mike Bloomberg has had his share of public reservations about hydrofracking, urging government honchos to keep drilling far from NYC's water. The City's environmental agency is on board, too.

But a strange little newsletter released this afternoon from the Department of Environmental Protection sends mixed signals, even if it doesn't mean to.

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BP Pays $100 Million Forward on Earth Day

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Just in time for Earth Day 2011, BP has announced they will give $100 million to five of the Gulf States following last year's Deepwater Horizon explosion. As part of their agreement to put $1 billion toward Gulf restoration projects, Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, and Florida will receive the funds necessary to attempt the revitalization of nearly 640 miles of coastline affected by the disaster.

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BP Wants to Get Back to Drilling in Gulf Of Mexico

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BP is petitioning U.S. regulators to continue drilling in the Gulf of Mexico less than a year after the massive oil spill that killed 11 workers and caused massive environmental damage. The deal would be that BP would be able to resume pre-existing drilling operations in the Gulf in exchange for following stricter safety regulations. There would be no new drilling. An agreement could be coming in the next month, although there's been no confirmation yet. More »

Tony Hayward Should Really Just Stop Talking

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Tony Hayward, the English bloke and former oil company CEO with the name that became infamous, and synonymous, with BP's 4.9 million barrels of oil spilled in the Gulf, and a sense of overwhelming incompetence in BP's attitude toward said spill (what with his taking time to go yachting, and complaining he wanted his life back, and the leak not being fixed for months), is coming forward once again, for some reason, to emphasize his "no regrets" philosophy.

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BP Rejoices, Can Blame Halliburton for Gulf Oil Spill

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Perpetually shady company Halliburton has come to BP's aid, sort of, by saying that they failed to do a critical test on the cement used to seal the well in the Gulf. Which then, of course, blew. In fact, tests done by the company showed the cement to be "unstable." It all sounds like a shitshow version of the blame game:

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BP Blames Media, Rivals for Creating "Climate of Fear" Over Gulf Spill

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Blame these pelicans for helping to create a climate of public fear.
Following the news that BP has been busy donating money to politicians who deny the existence of climate change and global warming, BP's new chief exec Bob Dudley does us a Tony Hayward and blames the media -- and mean competing oil companies -- for exacerbating a "climate of fear" over the summer with regard to the spill in the Gulf of Mexico.


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Morning Links: Brett Favre Admits Voicemails to Jenn Sterger; BP Donates to Block Action on Climate Change in U.S.

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• Brett Favre has admitted to leaving voicemails to former Jets sideline reporter Jenn Sterger, but draws the line at the cock shots. As for the truth to that, Sterger's manager, Phil Reese, said, "We're currently in the fact-gathering stage. Unfortunately, the person in the pictures didn't also hold up their driver's license, so I'm not going to speculate as far as identity." According to Deadspin, the photos were sent from the same phone number as the voicemails. [NYP]

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Silly Bandz Official 'Gulf Oil Spill' Pack Somehow Very Apropos

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Silly Bandz -- the ridiculous new trend of human beings walking around with specially shaped rubber bands on their wrists that take form when taken off your wrist -- are officially releasing a "Save the Gulf" pack of Silly Bandz. This is Silly, but rather apropos.

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